Top Ten Actresses I Would Watch In Almost Anything

So when Abbi over at Where The Wild Things Are did her top ten list of actresses she would see in pretty much anything, that sparked a whole new thing on the blogosphere. Now, I am embarrassed to admit that I started this list soon after she did hers, and I just never got around to going back to it and finishing it up. I realised recently that now is the time to do that! Without further ado, I present to you my top ten actresses I would see in pretty much anything.

Emma Stone

emma stone

Where is the love: She is cute, she is smart, fun, and sexy and so normal, you cannot help but love the girl. She is down to earth, and not afraid of making a fool out of herself, and that is always cool.
Best role: Wichita in Zombieland (2009)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The House Bunny (2008)

Angelina Jolie

angelina jolie

Where is the love: So many people complain about Angelina Jolie and I’ve never been able to understand it. She is exceptionally talented and wicked sexy, and works hard. She’s a (big) family woman, which is cool, yet she’s still grounded and out there. Plus she and Brad Pitt are just like the most gorgeous couple ever.
Best role: Uhm… this isn’t easy. I am going to go with Jane Smith in Mr & Mrs Smith (2005)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Marion Cotillard

marion cotillard

Where is the love: That voice, the way she carries herself, the distinct regal air, Marion Cotillard was destined to impress me. Not only that, she can handle herself in just about any role, but I must say that she excels at playing the slightly psychologically unstable.
Best role: Mallorie “Mal” Cobb in Inception (2010)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Taxi 2 (2000)

Eva Green

eva green2

Where is the love: Talented and beautiful, Eva Green brings it all to the table. Oozing style and sophistication, she is captivating on screen, always bringing that extra little something to a character, and she isn’t afraid to go wherever the character may take her, even when that is Ugliesville.
Best role: Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale (2006)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Dreamers (2003)

Jessica Lange

jessica lange1

Where is the love: Jessica Lange is just awesome. I really like her stuff, and I think she is mesmerising and she’s still got it going, even for her age. She dominates the screen whenever she is on, and can play anything from timid and quiet to in-your-face vixen.
Best role: Fiona Goode in American Horror Story: Coven
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Far North (1988)

Judi Dench

judi dench

Where is the love: Let’s be serious… Judi Dench is just so British, and she embraces it wholeheartedly. Tea and biscuits British, and above all else, she is a solid and entertaining actress. She can play a variety of roles across the board, ranging from comedy to hard-hitting, take-no-nonsense powerhouse performances such as M, she never fails to impress me.
Best role: M in any Bond film, but also Evelyn Greenslade in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

Carey Mulligan

carey mulligan

Where is the love: She is so cute and quiet, but can always deliver an understated but powerful portrayal of a character, and I like that talent.
Best role: Irene in Drive (2011)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: And When Did You Last See Your Father? (2007)

Helena Bonham Carter

helena bonham carter

Where is the love: Ditzy, crazy, talented, striking? What’s not to love about Helena Bonham Carter? She embraces all her roles and lends them some of her quirkiness, and she is always just absolutely astounding to watch, no matter what role she is in. Something about her is just so inherently different.
Best role: Marla Singer in Fight Club (1997)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Dancing Queen (1993)

Mia Wasikowska

mia wasikowska

Where is the love: Mia Wasikowska won me over with her portrayal of Bertha Minnix in Lawless (2012). After that, I kept my eyes open for her films because she is gifted and different, and brought something fresh and new to the screen (in my opinion). She has continued to churn out some consistently impressive work, and she has this air of innocence about her she can use to either define a character, or manipulate the audience with.
Best role: India Stoker in Stoker (2013)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Lens Love Story (2007)

Honourable Mentions:

Julianne Moore

julianne moore

Where is the love: I love Moore for her consistency, and how much effort she puts into her roles. I like the way she has played such a variety of characters, and she has given each and every role her best.
Best role: Clarice Starling in Hannibal (2001)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Nine Months (1995)

Cate Blanchett

cate blanchett

Where is the love: Blanchett is so refreshing in her sense of uniqueness, and brings that to life on the screen with every role that she takes. She draws you in no matter what her role, and can play anything from elvish queens to folk rock stars.
Best role: Jade Quinn (Bob Dylan) in I’m Not There (2007)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Ponyo (2009)

Katharine Isabelle

katharine isabelle

Where is the love: Katharine Isabelle is undoubtedly the horror queen (for me) and she dominates that role. Husky voice and those big green eyes, she was destined to rock any role thrown her way. She is a solid actress, never over the top, delivering just the right amount required for her performances, able to play weak or bitchy or in your face, Isabelle is very talented.
Best role: Mary Mason in American Mary (2012)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Cousins (1989) 

Mélanie Laurent

melanie laurent

Where is the love: French and proud about it, Laurent always manages to play a brooding yet strong woman, slightly different, always impressive.
Best role: Shosanna Dreyfus in Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Rice Rhapsody (2004)

Vera Farmiga

vera farmiga

Where is the love: I think that Vera Farmiga is pretty underrated, and I like her. Very subtle, but she can totally rock her roles. I must say, she can get pretty creepy sometimes cause she can play cooked a little too well.
Best role: Norma Louise Bates in Bates Motel. Because really – she nails that performance each and every time. Slightly too realistic sometimes.
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: Breaking and Entering (2006)

Amanda Seyfried

amanda seyfried1

Where is the love: What I enjoy about Amanda Seyfried is that she’s a little different. I don’t know why she would appeal to me as an actress, but she does. I have enjoyed watching her play the super special and slow Karen in Mean Girls, and her general progression on to other roles, bigger, better, meatier, is something I have liked. She always does the best with what she has, and even when she is in a crappy movie, she always stands out.
Best role: Karen Smith in Mean Girls (2004)
The one even she couldn’t convince me to see: The Big Wedding (2013)

Review: Casino Royale (2006)

casion royale movie poster

“Money isn’t as valuable to our organization as knowing who to trust.”
– Mr White

James Bond (Daniel Craig) gets his 00 status after cleaning out some treacherous MI6 staff. As a newly appointed 007 agent, he is sent to Madagascar to capture an international bomb-maker and acquire who they are all reporting to. When Mollaka, the bomb-maker, realizes that he is being tailed, he heads for the nearest embassy. Things end badly when Bond is unable to bring Mollaka in, and shoots him to death instead and sets off a massive explosion. He does, however, have to phone, and moves on to more promising issues. Bond breaks into M’s (Judi Dench) home and goes through her personal machine. She gives him off time, in which he goes to the Bahamas after tracing the text on Mollaka’s phone to an Alex Dimitrios (Simon Abkarian), who is connected to banker and terrorist financier Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen).

casino royale bond and m
“Any thug can kill. I need you to take your ego out of the equation.” – M

M realizes what Bond is doing, though she is furious that he stole her passcodes and hacked into her account to do his research. Bond seduces Dimitrios’s wife, and discovers that her husband is on the last flight out of the country. He follows Dimitrios to  Miami, where he kills him while figuring out what he is up to. In a clever plan, Bond finds out who Dimitrios was making a drop for and follows the man to Miami International Airport. Le Chiffre is involved with short-selling stock in successful companies and then hosting terrorist attacks against them to ensure he is the one that makes the big cash back. Bond realizes that Le Chiffre’s latest plan is to bomb the new Skyfleet airliner, and makes sure he stops him.

casino royale gambling
“All in. I have two pair and you have a 17.4% chance of making your straight.” – Le Chiffre

Le Chiffre has real problems now thanks to Bond, and is in a lot of debt after having a lost a lot of influential and terrifying people’s money. To get it back, he enters into a high stakes poker tournament at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. M decides that Bond should go there and compete, but only because he is the best player they have. She intends for Bond to win, so that Le Chiffre will be forced to assist the British government in exchange for protection from his old clients. British Treasury agent Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) is sent to be Bond’s cover as well as the money. The tournament has a $10 million dollar buy-in. Bond enters, and progressively loses his money due to ego, pride and arrogance. His local MI6 contact, René Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini) is not impressed, and does not know what to do when Vesper refuses to buy Bond in another hand.

casino royale bond and vesper
“I have no armour left. You’ve stripped it from me. Whatever is left of me – whatever is left of me – whatever I am – I’m yours.” – James Bond

CIA agent Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) comes to Bond’s aid, and supplies him the cash to continue playing. Le Chiffre is unhappy that Bond is suddenly doing so well on his second chance, and attempts to kill Bond, who ultimately survives. When all is said and Bond, much to the displeasure of Le Chiffre, wins the tournament. He celebrates with Vesper, whom he is falling in love with. However, the honeymoon period will not last, and she is kidnapped by Le Chiffre’s men, who it turns out was not in the American’s grasp. Using her as bait, they capture Bond.

Will Bond be able to save Vesper? Will he be able to escape Le Chiffre’s deadly clutches? Will the money safely make it back to the people it belongs to? Will Le Chiffre manage to recover the inordinate amounts of money that he lost so that he will be safe from the terrorists that are hunting him? Who is betraying whom, and will Bond be able to survive long enough to truly enjoy the worth of his 00 status?

Casino Royale earns a solid 9/10. This is by far my favourite Bond film of them all, and embodies everything I expect a Bond film to be. Yes, I can wax lyrical about this film, and I am going to do so now. Everything about this movie worked. The cast was great, the camerawork was wonderful, the action was top notch, the dialogue was good, the story was well presented and laid out, the score worked wonderfully and it was probably the first Bond intro to really impress me (no more gyrating, naked silhouettes, but a story to boot in its own right). Then there is Daniel Craig. He is my favourite Bond of them all, only Dalton being in a similar league. Craig completed what Dalton set out to do – give us a deeper, grittier, raw Bond with more going on psychologically than just sex and guns. For the first time, we get a brief look at Bond prior to being granted his 00 status, as well as what he does with it. Daniel Craig’s agent gave us someone who played by a different set of rules – he is edgy, he is dark, he is flawed. The way his two assassinations prior to his 00 status were done in black and white was pretty cool, too, showing that there was a difference. The love story that was worked in between Vesper and Bond was also good, it had a little more substance than we are used to seeing from Bond. Mads Mikkelsen, as ever, was simply amazing, and gave us a fresh, new villain. I was again reminded that he is truly an underrated actor. Hopefully we will be seeing more of him since his breakthrough in Hannibal… It would be lovely. The stunts in Casino Royale were well executed. Overall, this was a great way to reboot a franchise that desperately needed some phenomenal reviving. Bond’s gadgets were also limited a lot more in this one, which made me happy. The show was not stolen/killed because of some technology. Eva Green was an absolutely gorgeous Bond girl, truly a stunning lady. The relationship between M and Bond is also pretty awesome in here. Really, I have gone back to Casino Royale the most over the years, and it never ceases to thrill me. In my opinion, it is the best Bond film of the series.